There is some good
news for those with prostate cancer. A life-prolonging prostate cancer drug has
been officially launched in the United Kingdom.
which is being sold under the trade name "Zytiga", has been discovered to be
very effective on those in the advanced stages of prostate cancer.
The drug which was
developed by researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the
Royal Marsden Hospital, was recommended for a European Union license very
recently. It works by blocking testosterone production in all tissues,
including cancerous ones. Incidentally, testosterone (male sex hormone)
triggers the growth and spread of prostate cancer.
Phase III trial was conducted on 2,000 men with advanced
prostate cancer. It was shown that those administered one-a-day pill lived 15.8
months on an average in comparison to the 11.2 months that those taking a
The chief executive of
the ICR in London, Professor Alan
Ashworth, said: "This drug will make a significant impact on the
treatment of men suffering advanced prostate cancer. Abiraterone acetate gives
doctors another important treatment option and we hope that it will play a part
in one day turning prostate cancer into a chronic, rather than life-threatening,
ICR's Professor Johan de Bono, who co-led the Phase III
trial, said: "There are only a small handful of drugs available that can
extend life for men with advanced prostate cancer. Clinical trials have proven
that abiraterone acetate can not only prolong life, but in some men it can improve their quality of life. This
offers hope to the thousands of men each year whose cancer stops responding to
standard hormone treatments and chemotherapy."
About prostate cancer
prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is situated near the
urinary bladder. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men. The
cancer can be easily identified by a simple blood test for PSA (prostate specific antigen), which is a prostate cancer marker.
The levels of PSA are elevated in those with prostate cancer.
risk factors include family history,
age, red meat-rich diet, smoking, infection or inflammation. The rate of
incidence among Indians is approx.2-4%.
with a family history may do an annual check-up after 40 years while others may
begin a routine check up after age 50yrs.
Common prostate cancer treatment methods include
radical prostatectomy, radiotherapy, hormone ablation, proton beam therapy and